Src Cooperates with Oncogenic Ras in Tumourigenesis via the JNK and PI3K Pathways in Drosophila epithelial Tissue Academic Article uri icon


  • The Ras oncogene (Rat Sarcoma oncogene, a small GTPase) is a key driver of human cancer, however alone it is insufficient to produce malignancy, due to the induction of cell cycle arrest or senescence. In a Drosophila melanogaster genetic screen for genes that cooperate with oncogenic Ras (bearing the RasV12 mutation, or RasACT), we identified the Drosophila Src (Sarcoma virus oncogene) family non-receptor tyrosine protein kinase genes, Src42A and Src64B, as promoting increased hyperplasia in a whole epithelial tissue context in the Drosophila eye. Moreover, overexpression of Src cooperated with RasACT in epithelial cell clones to drive neoplastic tumourigenesis. We found that Src overexpression alone activated the Jun N-terminal Kinase (JNK) signalling pathway to promote actin cytoskeletal and cell polarity defects and drive apoptosis, whereas, in cooperation with RasACT, JNK led to a loss of differentiation and an invasive phenotype. Src + RasACT cooperative tumourigenesis was dependent on JNK as well as Phosphoinositide 3-Kinase (PI3K) signalling, suggesting that targeting these pathways might provide novel therapeutic opportunities in cancers dependent on Src and Ras signalling.

publication date

  • 2018

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